Ryder Cup: Sam Torrance warns Americans should not be under-estimated
Last Updated: 02/07/14 2:36pm
Sam Torrance believes European captain Paul McGinley will leave “no stone unturned” as he bids to retain the Ryder Cup in September.
Torrance, who skippered Europe to a memorable victory at the Belfry in 2002, has been appointed as assistant captain for this year’s contest at Gleneagles.
The Irishman has been a regular visitor to the Perthshire venue to oversee the course set-up and ensure it favours his own team’s strengths.
Having the Ryder Cup back in Scotland is fantastic for golf. This is the home of golf and it rightly should be here, and it’s a wonderful venue here at Gleneagles.
Torrance is at Gleneagles this week to assist with the preparations, and he is delighted that the Ryder Cup is returning to Scotland for the first time since Muirfield hosted the event in 1973.
“It’s just great to be here, and the course is looking fantastic,” Torrance told Sky Sports News. “The rough is not where it’s going to be in September but it’s well on its way.
“Paul has been up here numerous times making sure that it is set up to suit the Europeans, which is what home advantage is, so it’s all in hand and all working well.
“Having the Ryder Cup back in Scotland is fantastic for golf. This is the home of golf and it rightly should be here, and it’s a wonderful venue here at Gleneagles.
“It’s a spectacular golf course. It was designed by Jack Nicklaus, but we can make it suit us.
“Paul will be meticulous. He’s a great people person and the players respect him. He’s very knowledgeable and he will not leave a stone unturned.
“This will be his tournament and I think he will do a fantastic job. He was captain in the Seve Trophy a couple of times and did a great job. That job was leading in to being the Ryder Cup captain captain and he rightly got the job.”
Torrance also hopes to have Scottish representation on the team, and he backed Stephen Gallacher to qualify following his strong run of form this season.
“Stephen Gallacher is right on the brink at the moment and he’s playing well and in the top 50 in the world,” Torrance added. “He’s in all the top events, and he’s got a great chance of making it. Obviously we would love to have a Scotsman in the team.”
Torrance also played down suggestions that the American players do not have the same hunger and desire for the Ryder Cup as the Europeans.
He said: “Obviously we can win it again but so can the Americans. The one thing you must never do is under-estimate your opponents.
“There’s talk that the Americans don’t care much about the Ryder Cup, but trust me they do. They want to win it just as badly as us and they will be trying just as hard as us. We’ve got to keep that in mind and be wary of them.”
Meanwhile, three-time European captain Bernard Gallacher believes McGinley's prospective team is coming together nicely just three months ahead of the contest.
With Rory McIlroy winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, Martin Kaymer's runaway victory in the US Open and Justin Rose ending his title drought last weekend, Gallacher is delighted to see Europe's biggest stars coming into form.
"I think it’s brilliant for Paul McGinley that he’s going in there with Martin Kaymer. He won the Players Championship and the US Open, and then Justin Rose won at Congressional last week," Gallacher said on Sky Sports News.
"It’s a terrific boost for Paul McGinley and I think his team is taking shape.
"I think Europe are only favourites because they are at home, but I think the contest itself is very even. Hopefully the home support will just push it our way."